This afternoon as guests of the Napa Valley Truffle Festival arrived at Peju Province winery, the sun came out and it was a perfect California warm winter day. Golden mustard blossoms glowed through rows of crooked, bare grape vines. Tables were set up in center of vineyards, and a pizza oven was turning out appetizers. Lisa Peju and wine club manager Melissa Stadler led everyone through a tasting of 2012 reds-their Zinfandel, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. This is considered an great year in Napa and the wines had wonderful balances of fruit, acidity and tannins.
The truffle lunch was prepared by Tony Esnault, executive chef of Church and State in Los Angeles. He’s originally from the Loire Valley in France and went to culinary school there, lunch was a wonderful fusion of French technique and California food and wine. Black truffles were showcased with restraint, where minced pieces served as a savory accent to rich, creamy sunchoke velouté and flair in thin strips over the potato and leek. They were creative and playful in the sorbet served for dessert.
The first course was a velvety sunchoke velouté, guinea hen, foie gras, black truffle and chervil. It was paired with 2013 Peju Chardonnay.
The main course was seared day boat scallop, potato, leek and black truffle. It was paired with 2007 Reserve Cabernet Franc.
The dessert course was bartlett pear, caramelized brioche, pecan and brown butter with black truffle sorbet.